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Correct these sentences please

It was my first day at college. I went to the classroom and started reading a book. My teacher came to the class and gave an introduction. When I was in my school, I was in the 3rd position, I always wanted to be in the first position.


  • @vms331, I suspect you are thinking about use of the.

    Let's start with the first three sentences, which refer to study and places of study.
    The general rule with certain words (such as school, college, university) is that we don't use the if we're thinking first and foremost of study and the place of study is far less important.

    1. It was my first day at college is fine as a description of an experience. The building where that happened was only a minor detail.

    2. I went to the classroom and started reading a book is an odd thing to say, but the grammar is fine. In fact English we don't use the word classroom in the way we use school, college etc. When we mean study and nor place of study, we use the — often in the remark We should go back to the classroom.

    3. My teacher came to the class and gave an introduction is fine, but for a different reason. The class refers to a particular lesson or a particular group of students. We do use phrases like to class or in class but in the general sense 'not outside the lesson'. So I could say:
      I met my teacher at a family party and told hime about my difficulty with articles. He promised to speak about it in class.

    The fourth sentence has various problems
    In my school is grammatical, but has an inappropriate sense. It means 'in the building where I was a pupil' or 'in the building where I am/was a teacher'.

    • If you change it to in school, it means 'during the time that I was a pupil (or teacher)'. This usually has the exclusive sense 'inside the place of study but not outside'.

    • The phrase at school is available, but with three meanings.

    1. the same exclusive sense as in school _e.g. _She was outgoing most of the time but shy at school
    2. 'during the time that I was a pupil'
    3. 'at the place of study'

    So your sentence could begin with the phrase At my school — sense [2]. But the rest of it needs to be changed.

    • You need something more than a comma before I always wanted

    • When speaking of competition, English generally says in _first, second, third place_. It's generally when there's no competition that we use _in first position_ etc.

    • When speaking of a result, we generally a phrase such as came third.

    • When speaking of school results, we're more likely to say came top.

    I came third is fine for one result. But speaking of the whole of your time at school, you need to say something like I always came third or I kept coming third.

    For your your fourth sentenceI would prefer something

    At school I kept coming third, when what I wanted was to come top.
    I always wanted to come top at school, but I was always in third place.

  • @vms331, in another discussion thread you describe these sentences as a paragraph. This makes a big difference.

    • Change the second sentence to
    I went to my first class...
    Before my first class started, i sat in the room reading a book.

    • Change the fourth sentence to
    At school, although I kept coming third, I had always wanted to come top.

  • Sir, what about the tense of fourth sentence? The first three senetences are all about what happened at my college and the fourth is an event that had happened long before the first event.
    So my doubt is how would I change the fourth sentence to past perfect if necessary?

  • Sir, Thank you very much for your insights.

  • @vms331, I did use the PAST PERFECT in the MAIN CLAUSE I had always wanted to come top. I didn't use it in the SUBORDINATE C:AUSE beginning with although. I didn't want to say that I kept coming third before I wanted to come top.

    But I could write

    At school I had always come third. But I had wanted to come top.
    At school I had always come third, although what I wanted was to come top.

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